In Islam there are No Mediators Between Man and Allah

Praises be to Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and made the
darkness and the light. Yet those who reject Faith hold (others) as
equal with Allah (subHanahu wa ta'ala).

"When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them):
I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let
them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That
they may walk in the right way
." (2:186)

"Oh mankind! A similitude has been coined, so listen to it
(carefully): Verily those on whom you call besides Allah, cannot
create (even) a fly, even though they combine together for the
purpose. And if the fly snatches away a thing from them, they will
have no power to release it from the fly. So weak are (both) the
seeker and the sought
." (22:73)

In this modern age, as in ages past, people call upon sages, mystics
and saints for help. They grasp a lucky rabbit's foot or other
talisman, investing it with the power to intercede for them to
achieve a desired result. They wear angel pins and four-leaf clovers,
covering their bets with a nod to religion and nature. When some ill
befalls, they damn their luck. When some good comes to them, they
thank their lucky stars or light a candle for a favorite saint. They
give credit to everyone and everything save the One who created them.
Their pleas are unheard by those they invoke, and the One Who is the
All-Hearing, the One who knows their needs better than they
themselves, is rarely called upon.

The believer, however, feels in his heart only revulsion at the idea
of invoking someone besides Allah. He knows that Allah, though
separate from His creation, knows him more intimately than any
created being can:

"It was We who created man and We know what dark suggestions his soul
makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein

He takes comfort in this knowledge and also in knowing that Allah
loves for His slaves to invoke him and ask for their needs. He knows
that Allah does not grow weary from granting provision for His
believers, and that all of humankind could not exhaust the patience
of the Infinite.

Five times a day during the compulsory prayers, and at anytime with
informal supplication (dua'), the believer has a direct open channel between
him and Allah. He pours out his soul, praising Allah and
acknowledging His sovereignty, and then asks for what he needs. He
asks for guidance, for a pious spouse, for a better job, for food to
feed his children. He knows that if he is patient, Allah will
answer his prayer, by granting him what he asked for, or by
substituting something better, or by wiping away a sin or storing up
goodness for him in the world to come. He knows that such a bounty
comes only from Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe,
and not from any angel or guru or earthly ruler. This knowledge
brings about a deep contentment and calmness in the face of

With a direct line to the Most Merciful, who needs a rabbit's foot,
an icon or a statue? These tokens pale to insignificance, and the
believer can only look upon those superstitious souls who use such
items with wonder and pity.

Who would submit to that and thereby
separate oneself from communion with the Almighty?

Do Not Delay or Get it Over With

Bismillah Walhamdulillah Was Salaatu Was Salaam 'ala Rasulillah
As-Salaam Alaikum Wa-Rahmatullahi Wa-Barakatuhu

Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar!
The sound of the adhaan echoed throughout the neighborhood.

"Oh, its Asr already ?!" She absentmindedly thought in her head as she flipped channels with the remote. "I 'll pray as soon as this show is over," she mumbled to herself, as she settled down to watch her favorite TV program. And before she knew it, it was another show and then yet another, when all of a sudden, she realized how late it was.....the light outside had turned yellowish orange.....the birds were chirping loudly.... ...the sun was almost about to set.

She hurriedly got up, made wudu and did 4 quick rakahs of Asr as fast as she could, so that she could ‘get it over with‘.

Subhaan Allaah, how many of us are guilty of something like that ?

Okay, may be its not television for all of us. For some of us, its cooking and cleaning, 'busy' with the kids. And for some its video games and playstations; while for others it's talking on the phone, chatting on the internet, shopping, sleeping, you name it. Or it may be for just no reason at all.

We delay our prayer .... and delay our prayer until the time for it is almost over and then we quickly peck the floor with our heads, thinking we are absolved of the obligation. In other words, we 'just get it over with’.

But, Brothers and sisters, do you realize what the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) called such a prayer? He called it the 'prayer of the hypocrite'!

Anas ibn Maalik said, “I heard the Messenger of Allaah (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) say, ‘That is the prayer of the hypocrites, that is the prayer of the hypocrites, that is the prayer of the hypocrites. One of them will sit until the sun turns yellow, and is between the horns of the Shaytaan, or on the horns of the Shaytaan, then he will get up and peck out four (rakahs), in which he does not remember Allaah except a little.’” (Abu Dawood).

And its not just Asr. We tend to do that with all our prayers, delaying it until its time is almost up for no valid reason, except that we are just plain old lazy.

Allaah says that laziness in prayer is a characteristic of the hypocrites.

And when they stand up for al-salaah, they stand with laziness
[al-Nisaa 4:142].

So woe unto those performers of Salaah (hypocrites);those who delay their Salaah” [al-Maoon 107:4-5]

In fact, do you know what the best deed in the sight of Allah is? Its prayer at its time.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) was asked: Which deed is best? He said: “Prayer done on time.” (al-Bukhaari, Muslim)

And yet we delay it, without thinking much of it. And obviously when we delay the prayer, we rush through it, not paying attention to the ruku or sujud or the proper etiquettes of prayer.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘The worst type of thief is the one who steals from his prayer.’ He said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, how can a person steal from his prayer?’ He said, ‘By not doing rukoo and sujood properly.’” (Ahmad and al-Haakim).

And he (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘The one who does not do rukoo properly, and pecks in sujood, is like a starving man who eats only one or two dates; it does not do him any good at all.’” (al-Tabaraani).

Subhaan Allaah ! And where are we with our Salaah ?

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) used to move at a measured pace during salaah, allowing every bone to return to its place with each movement. And he commanded those who were not doing their prayer properly to do the same.

Remember the hadeeth about the person who rushed through his prayer? The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) told him three times: “Go back and pray, for you have not prayed.” Then he told the man: “When you go to pray, say takbeer, then recite whatever you can of the Quraan. Then bow until you are at ease in bowing, then rise until you are standing up straight. Then prostrate until you are at ease in prostration, then sit up until you are at ease in sitting. Then do that throughout the entire prayer.” (al-Bukhaari, Muslim)

Obviously if we wait till the last few moments to pray, we will not be at ease or be able to pay attention to what the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) has instructed to do.

Obviously, we will end up 'stealing' from the prayer.

And you know what, we may just rush through the Salaah, 'getting it over with', as some of us like to say, but who knows how much of it was even accepted by Allaah? For the reward that one gets for Salaah is in proportion to the degree of khushoo he has in the prayer.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said: “A slave may pray and have nothing recorded for it except a tenth of it, or a ninth, or an eighth, or a seventh, or a sixth, or a fifth, or a quarter, or a third, or a half.” ( Ahmad).

We, as Muslim must hasten to prayer and with khushoo, if we want to increase our Imaan and good deeds. This is one of the attributes of the believers whose hearts are attached to their prayers. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) would be attending to his familys needs, then when he would hear Bilaal give the adhaan, he would stop whatever he was doing and rush to pray.

He (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) used to say, “Let us relax with it [the prayer], O Bilaal."

He did not say, ‘Let us get it over with.’

And he (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said:

Five prayers which Allaah has made obligatory. Whoever does wudoo properly for them, prays them on time, does rukoo properly and has perfect khushoo, it is a promise from Allaah that he will be forgiven, but whoever does not do this, has no such promise – if Allaah wishes, He will forgive him, and if He wishes, He will punish him.” (Abu Dawood, Saheeh al-Jaami).

Those of us who are lazy and do not pray until the time is up for no valid reason...those of us who just want to ‘get it over with, should remember what our deeds will say to us when we are in our grave: "for the believer’s deeds will say to him in his grave: “By Allaah, I only saw you quick to obey Allaah and slow to disobey Him.” But in the case of the munaafiq (hypocrite) and faasiq (evildoer), his deeds will say: “By Allaah, I only saw you slow to obey Allaah and quick to disobey Him.” ( Ahmad)

The Etiquette of Joking

A Muslim is naturally expected to be serious, as he was not created for the purpose of joking and amusement. When joking diverts a person from the purpose of their creation, which is to worship Allah, it becomes dispraised. Another reason to make joking dispraised is when it is excessive and makes a person laugh too much which in turn leads to the heart becoming hardened;

The Prophet (s) said: “Do not laugh too much because excessive laughter kills your heart.” (Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah & Ahmad).

Waheeb Ibn al-Ward looked at some people as they where laughing on the day of ‘Eid al-Fitr and remarked: “If Allah has forgiven these people, then these are not the actions of grateful people; If they were not forgiven, then these are not the actions of those who are fearful.”

A Muslim requires his heart to be alive and tender; a heart which heedlessness cannot find its way into, to be able to strongly execute his struggle against Satan. Excessive joking will lead his heart to such heedlessness. Satan pledged to distract man and misguide him, as Allah says that which translates as: “Iblees [Satan] said [To Allah]: By Your might, I will surely mislead them all. Except, among them, Your chosen servants.” (Saad: 82-83).

Moreover, we must know that heedlessness is a characteristic of the disbelievers. Allah says that which translates as: “Then woe, that Day, to the deniers. Who are in [empty] discourse amusing themselves.” (At-Toor: 11-12).

So leave them to converse vainly and amuse themselves until they meet their Day which they are promised.” (Az-Zukhruf: 83).

Then leave them in their [empty] discourse, amusing themselves.” (Al-An’aam: 91),

Then, on the Day of Judgment, the disbelievers will be asked that which translates as: “What put you into Saqar [i.e., Hellfire].” (Al-Muddaththir: 42), they will reply with that which translates as: “...We used to enter into vain discourse with those who engaged [in it].” (Al-Muddaththir: 45)

Our righteous predecessors seriously warned against this type heedlessness, Abu Ya’laa used to say: “Are you laughing while your funeral-shroud may be being prepared?”

Muhammad Ibn Waasi’ asked some people: “If you saw a man in Paradise crying, would you be surprised?” they replied ‘Yes’, he said: “The one who laughs in this life, not knowing what his consequence is in the next one, is more surprising than that.”

Excessive joking makes one lose their dignity and even the foolish people around the one joking will eventually despise them.

‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “He who jokes, people will despise him.”

Muhammad Ibn Al-Munkadir said: “My mother once told me: son, don’t joke with children for that will make you lose your dignity.”

Sa’eed Ibn al-’Aas said: “Don’t joke with a noble man because he will hate you, or an inferior man because he will humiliate you.”

Husayn Ibn ‘Abdur-Rahmaan said: “We were told that joking removes one’s dignity and breaks friendships.”

In addition, joking could cause hatred to enter the hearts, as ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abdul Azeez, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “Fear Allah and don’t joke because it causes hatred and would make an inferior person despise you. Instead, talk about Qur’anic verses and discuss them, if this is difficult, then at least carry out a decent manly conversation”.

Khaalid Ibn Safwaan said: “People used to say, everything has its seed, and the seed of enmity is joking.”

Joking becomes prohibited and not only dispraised when it involves Islamically unlawful behaviour such as:

*Scaring Muslims:

Some of the Prophet’s companions, were once on a trip with the Prophet (s) and one of them was sleeping. A group of the companions took some of the sleeping one’s arrows, which he kept for self-defence, and hid them. When he woke up, he was frightened, due to losing them, so they started laughing. Thereupon, the Prophet (s) asked them: “What makes you laugh?” they replied: “Nothing, its just that we took this man’s arrows and that scared him.” Thereupon, the Prophet (s) said: “It is not lawful for a Muslim to scare his fellow Muslim.”
(Ahmad & Abu Daawood).

He (s) also said: “Don’t take your brother’s stick, whether jokingly or seriously. If one of you finds his brother’s stick, then let him return it to him
(Ahmad & Abu Daawood).

*Lying while joking:

The Prophet (s) said: “Woe to the one who tells lies to make people laugh, woe to him, woe to him” (Tirmidhi, Abu Daawood & Daarimi).

He (s) also said: “A slave would utter a word meaning no harm except wanting to make people laugh, and it would cause him to go down in Hell as far as the distance between the Heavens and the earth.”

Abu Hurairah (r) with him, narrated that people said to the Prophet (s) : “You joke with us.” He (s) replied: “I do but I only say that which is true” (Tirmidhi & Ahmad).

Abu Umaamah (r) with him, narrated that the Prophet (s) said: “I guarantee an abode within the boundary of Paradise for the one who refrains from arguing even if he was correct; and an abode in the middle of Paradise for the one who abandons lying even in jest; and an abode in the sublime part of Paradise for the one whose manners are honourable.” (Abu Daawood).

*Joking that may cause harm to others:

Abu Hurairah (r) with him, narrated that the Prophet (s) said: “None of you should point his weapon at his brother, as Satan may provoke him (to hurt his brother) and as a result, he would fall into a pit of Fire.” (Bukhari).

In another narration, he (s) said: “He who (even) points at his brother with a piece of iron is cursed by the angels until he puts it down, even if the other was his blood brother.” (Muslim).

*Joking which includes transgressing the limits of Allah:

Joking could exceed the limits to reach to a point of committing major and heinous sins, like mocking Qur’anic verses, the Prophet (s), Islamic rules or Muslim scholars – just like the hypocrites did on the day of the battle of Tabook when they mocked the Prophet (s) and his companions; due to this Allah revealed the verses which translate as:

And if you ask them, they will surely say: ‘We were only conversing and playing.’ Say, ‘Is it Allah and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking?’ Make no excuse; you have disbelieved [i.e., rejected faith] after your belief.” (At-Tawbah: 65-66).

Allah warned us from even sitting with such people as He said that which translates as: “And when you see those who engage in [offensive] discourse concerning Our verses, then turn away from them until they enter into another conversation. And if Satan should cause you to forget, then do not remain after the reminder with the wrongdoing people.” (Al-An’aam: 86).

He also says that which translates as: “And it has already come down to you in the Book [i.e., the Qur’an] that when you hear the verses of Allah [recited], they are denied [by them] and ridiculed; so do not sit with them until they enter into another conversation. Indeed, you would then be like them. Indeed, Allah will gather the hypocrites and disbelievers in Hell all together.” (An-Nisaa’:140).

The Prophet (s) used to joke, and there are many examples for this, so this certainly indicates that joking is lawful, provided it does not contain any of the prohibitions mentioned.

Jaabir (r) said: “Whenever the Prophet (s) would receive revelation or preach to us, I would think to myself, due to his appearance: ‘he is warning people against a punishment that will definitely befall them’. But, when that was finished, you would see that he had the happiest and most cheerful face, which was his nature.” (Al-Bazzaar).

The Prophet’s joking was not merely for entertainment, but would include teachings and instructions for his companions. The Prophet (s)would joke at different times for different reasons:

For the purpose of endearment, there are many stories that illustrate this point:

* Once, the Prophet (s) went to visit Suhayb (r) when he was sick with an eye ailment. When he entered Suhayb (r) was eating dates, so the Prophet (s) said to him, jokingly: “Are you eating dates while you have a sore eye!” he replied: ‘I’m using the other eye to see.’ Thereupon, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam smiled.” (Ibn Maajah).

Anas (r) narrated that a man came to the Prophet {s) and said: “Give me an animal to ride on” the Prophet (s)replied: “I will give you the son of a female camel” the man said with astonishment: “What could I do with the son of a female camel?” (i.e., thinking that he would be given a camel too small to ride). Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (s) replied: “What do female camels deliver except camels?” (i.e., that every camel, even if it is fully grown, is the product of a female camel). (Abu Daawood & Tirmidhi).

Awf Ibn Maalik (r) said, “I went to the Prophet (s)during the battle of Tabook while he was in a leather Qubbah (a small tent-like structure used for sitting in before war). I greeted him with Salaam and he (s) responded and said: “Come inside” I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, all of me?’ he (s) replied: “All of you” so I entered” (Ahmad & Abu Daawood).

‘Uthmaan Ibn Abi Al-’Ataakah commented that ‘Awf Ibn Maalik asked this question because the Qubbah was very small’.

Ka’b Ibn Murrah (r) said: “I heard the Prophet (s) saying, “Shoot at the enemy; Allah will elevate he who shoots and his arrow reaches the enemy, by raising him by one step in Paradise” Ibn An-Namaam (r) asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah, what is this step?’ he (s)replied with humour: “It is definitely not like your mothers doorstep; Indeed the distance between two steps in Paradise is one hundred years”” (An-Nasaa’i & Ahmad).

Anas (r) narrated: “There was a Bedouin named Zaahir whom the Prophet (s) loved and he was ugly. One day the Prophet (s) approached him from behind as he was selling some merchandise and hugged him and teased him saying: “Who would buy this slave (i.e., Zaahir)” Zaahir replied: ‘You would not get much for someone like me’ the Prophet (s) said: “But you are precious in the sight of Allah.” (Ahmad).

*The Prophet (s) would also comfort his companions and cheer them up, as Anas (r) narrated: “The Prophet (s)once saw my young brother extremely upset, so he (s) asked: “Why do I see Abu ‘Umayr (a fond nickname that he gave him) so sad?” the people replied ‘His bird has died.’ So he (s) said comfortingly: “O Abu ‘Umayr what happened to your bird?”” (Ahmad).

Avoid Moulood Save Eemaan

Mawlid al-Nabi (the Prophets birthday)

There is nothing in the Quraan to say that we should celebrate the Mawlid or birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The Prophet himself (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not do this or command anyone to do it, either during his lifetime or after his death. Indeed, he told them not to exaggerate about him as the Christians had exaggerated about Jesus (upon whom be peace).

He said: “Do not exaggerate about me as the Christians exaggerated about the son of Maryam. I am only a slave, so say, ‘The slave of Allaah and His Messenger.’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari).

What has been reported is that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) made the day of his birth a day of worship, which is different to celebration.

He was asked about fasting on Mondays, and he said: “That is the day on which I was born and the day on which I was entrusted with the Mission or when I was first given Revelation.” (Reported by Muslim, al-Nisaa’i and Abu Dawood).

Moreover, we know that the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) were the people who loved the Prophet most. Was it reported that Abu Bakr, who was the closest of people to him and the one who loved him the most, celebrated the birthday of the Prophet (pbuh) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? Was it reported that Umar, who ruled for twelve years, or Uthmaan, did this? Was it reported that Ali, his relative and foster son, did this? Was it reported that any of the Sahaabah did this? No, by Allaah! Is it because they were not aware of its importance, or did they not truly love the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? No one would say such a thing except one who has gone astray and is leading others astray.

Did any of the imaams – Abu Haneefah, Maalik, al-Shaafi, Ahmad, al-Hasan al-Basri, Ibn Seereen – do this or command others to do it or say that it was good? By Allaah, no! It was not even mentioned during the first and best three centuries.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in a saheeh hadeeth: “The best of mankind are my generation (or my century), then those who come after them, then those who come after them. Then there will come a people who will not care if their testimony comes before their oath or vice versa (i.e., they will not take such matter seriously).” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Muslim and al-Tirmidhi).

The celebration of the Prophet birthday appeared many centuries later, when many of the features of true religion had vanished and bid’ah had become widespread.

Thus this celebration became a sign of one’s love for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? But can it be possible that the Sahaabah, the imaams and the people of the best three centuries were unaware of it, and it was only those who came later who were aware of its importance?! What the Quraan tells us is that love of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is demonstrated by following the guidance he brought. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Say: ‘Obey Allaah and the Messenger.’ But if they turn away, then Allaah does not like the disbelievers
.” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:31-32]

The first aayah explains that love is just a claim, but the proof of sincerity is following what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) brought.

The second aayah reaffirms the importance and necessity of obeying Allaah and His Messenger.

Hence Allaah ended the aayah with a very stern warning in which those who refuse to obey are described as kaafirs, and Allah does not love the disbelievers. We ask Allaah to keep us safe from that. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us of the danger of not obeying him, and the danger of adding to what he brought.

The celebration of Mawlid or his birthday is indeed an addition to what he brought – as all the scholars agree. He said: “The best of speech is the Book of Allaah, and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The most evil of things are those which are newly-invented (in religion), and every innovation is a going astray.” (Reported by Muslim and al-Nisaa’i).